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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Hart, UA community exchange insights

Colin Darland
Colin Darland / Daily Wildcat Anne Weaver Hart, the candidate to become the UA’s next president, speaks to students, faculty and staff at a public session held in the Union Kiva room of the Student Union Memorial Center on Tuesday.

Although the Arizona Board of Regents has yet to officially vote in UA presidential candidate Ann Weaver Hart, UA community members seemed optimistic about her chances during meetings held on Tuesday.

Hart, accompanied by her husband, spoke with UA faculty, students and staff members for 30 minutes each, answering questions on a variety of topics, from guns on campus to boosting student retention. She began the meetings by discussing her personal background and how she could apply it to solve problems at the UA.

“Each experience I had gave me an understanding and a skill set that I believe, when I got to the know the regents and the search committee, really were issues facing the University of Arizona now,” Hart said.

Following her speech, she opened the floor for questions, which she tried to answer with personal experiences. Once she gave her response, she made sure the question was fully answered before moving on.

“She’s very impressive and I think she’s got the requisite experience to help lead us during these difficult times,” said Alex Chiu, chief of otolaryngology in the department of surgery. “I think the fact that she’s been in the dance for a while and has had experience with a large institution is a great thing for us.”

When asked about what kinds of challenges she will face by coming to a new university, Hart said she would have to develop a trusting relationship with students and members of the faculty and staff.

“To do the job I want to do, I need to feel your support,” Hart told faculty members. “Not that you agree with me, but that as we work together, there’s a sense that you’re comfortable communicating with me and charging me to act on your behalf for the good of the university.”

Following her meeting with the faculty, James Allen, president of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, praised the philosophy she could bring to the UA, as well as her understanding of student priorities, when he introduced her to student attendees.

“I’ve looked at her resume and it’s quite impressive what she’s done medical school-wise at Temple,” said Leo Yamaguchi, a senior studying physiology and nutritional sciences. “She did an awesome job and hopefully she’ll do that here as well, and help out everyone across the board.”

There was not enough time to answer every question, but Hart attempted to answer as many as possible. She also offered advice to students and leaders.

Students should join in on the commitment to community, the opportunity to use what they are learning to be an integral part of the community, and to seek ways to advocate for the community as well, Hart said.

In her last meeting of the day, Hart spoke with appointed personnel and classified staff.

“I’m excited that we might have a woman as president,” said Melody Buckner, instructional design specialist. “I think women bring a different perspective and I’m really excited to see what she’s going to do at the University of Arizona.”

Hart said she found the meetings to be informative and insightful.

“People … have been extremely warm and welcoming,” Hart said. “I feel very, very honored and excited to be a part of the Arizona team.”

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